Wednesday, May 27, 2009

BIS #1390 - FR. GIUSEPPE MOJA

Ivo Coelho sdb NASHIK, MAY 27, 2009: Last night we received the news that Fr Giuseppe Moja passed away at Arese, Italy. He had recently undergone an operation for kidney stones, and did not recover well. Fr Moja was born on 20 December 1915, and was 93 years 6 months when he died on 26 May 2009. Having spent his childhood in France and in Italy, he first joined the diocesan seminary, and then the Salesians. He never tired of telling how he felt completely at home in the Salesian aspirantate of Ivrea from the very first day. "I have found my place," he told the Rector. He would also narrate how his saintly confessor at the diocesan seminary had been a boy with Don Bosco. Don Bosco himself had directed him to the diocese, saying he would do much good. It was that confessor who first spoke to the young Giuseppe about Don Bosco, and it was he, perhaps, who initiated Fr Moja's lifelong long love affair with Don Bosco. In those days missionaries would come young; Giuseppe came to India with some other companions as an aspirant. It was in India that he made his novitiate, and it was here that he did his philosophical and theological studies. They were days of the beginnings still; they could afford only one cassock, that had to be washed at night and worn again in the morning. In his later years Fr Moja could still remember that the Bandel chapel had a smell of stale fish with all those half dry cassocks steaming off the young bodies of their wearers. It is good to remember also that inculturation did not begin with us. Way back in those days, the young Salesians were not only made to learn the local language immediately, but they were even given impossible tasks such as teaching Bengali to young Bengali boys in school. Giuseppe did it all, with his great facility for languages and his keen intelligence. For practical training, there was again something special: he was chosen to be the personal secretary of Fr Vincent Scuderi, who was both provincial and vicar general of the diocese of Krishnagar. The provincial was, as can be imagined, always on the move. But he knew how to delegate. So his young secretary, barely out of philosophy, not only kept all his papers but even carried out a vigorous correspondence, to the extent of even signing for the superior. Fr Moja would tell me: some of those – most of those – letters from Scuderi to the superiors and to the Vatican were signed not by Fr Scuderi but by the young cleric Moja. But historians will never know. Then came the War. Giuseppe was deported, together with other 'enemy nationals', to various camps in different parts of India. There was Deoli, which is not far from our present house of Suket; then Dehradun. The young Giuseppe did not give the British an easy time, and they reciprocated in kind. I am told that Cl. Moja spent not a little time in the camp lock up, for bad behavior. In the meantime, life went on. The enterprising Italian Salesians made sausages, and wine, and set up a theology school, and held entertainments. The religious house was simply imported into the camps. There were even a few ordinations. At the end of the War, the British would not allow Moja and some others to remain in British India. That was when the brilliant idea came of going to Goa. And that was how Scuderi, Moja and a few others landed in Goa. That was how Scuderi became the great pioneer of Salesian work in Goa. I suppose that history has been put down in T.J. Joseph's books. Moja was his ever enterprising self in Panjim. He was blessed, of course, with a mighty temper and a caustic tongue, and T.J. has pungent things to say on that topic. But the fact was that the work went on and even flourished. On Sundays, the clerics and young priests would gird up their cassocks and cycle all the way to places like Calangute where they conducted festive Oratories. One of my neighbours, who hails from Calangute, still remembers those days, and how the Salesians would come over on Sundays, bringing along also some welcome loaves of bread. Moja worked, I think, also in Valpoi before being deputed to begin the work in Sulcorna. Some 200 acres of land had been gifted to the Salesians by a benefactor. It was pure jungle in the deep south of Goa. Moja has, I think, left some written accounts of his first days out there in the jungle: with a tarpaulin, a helper, a dog, a gun and a carafe of feni: that was how they began. It poured, torrentially, the very first night. Moja passed the night poking the sagging tarpaulin with his stick, and the feni came in very handy of course to ward off the cold and to keep up the spirits. There were monkeys, there were leopards. Eventually a little house came up: first the roof, then one wall, then another. Then an old refrigerator was found, and made to work. Then people said: see in what comfort he is living. (The original house can still be seen in a corner of our farm.) Moja remained 16 years in Sulcorna, before being transferred – much against his will, of course – to Lonavla. That was where I first saw him, I think. He looked old to us youngsters, but he must have been barely 60. Still young, still full of energy, still able to do much, but there he was: confessor and in charge of propaganda. Later he came to Pune as Administrator, and that was where we became good friends. After that he was brought to Matunga, and eventually took charge of the Don Bosco's Madonna. He spent the last years of his life in his fourth floor room in the Shrine Building. When he could not manage anymore, after his month long stint in Hinduja's for cancer therapy, he asked to return to Italy. He was admitted to the infirmary of the Milan province at Arese, where I met him several times. "When I want to feel alive," he would say, "I think of India." Moja was the quintessential, sola-topeed, bearded foreign missionary. He never quite abandoned his Italianity; he loved cheese and wine and the good food and the culture and the languages of his home continent, and he never quite completely and wholeheartedly accepted everything that was Indian. Added to that, he had his famous caustic tongue and a heavy wit. All this did not serve to endear him to many. By the time he left Provincial House, he had gotten himself on the wrong side of almost everyone. I remember telling him: Fr Moja, if you shout at me also, there will be no one for you to talk to! But with all that, there are few people I remember today with greater affection. Moja had a heart of gold. And his heart was pure. He was attached and affectionate without clinging and binding. Fr Casarotti used to say that he never began an oratory or a boarding in Sulcorna; but he had a passionate love for Don Bosco. He spent several of his last years translating Teresio Bosco's 'new biography' of Don Bosco, and it was, for him, a labour of love. "I know all these stories and these facts," he would tell me, "but so many times I have been unable to go on, simply moved to tears." He was concerned that we Salesians in India did not know enough about Don Bosco and did not love him enough. If Fr Moja has left us anything, I would say it is this passionate love for Don Bosco. He has been for us, in our province, an icon of that love. As we bid farewell to this great man and great Salesian, I pray that the Lord he loved so well, might receive him with open arms into his Sacred Heart. I thought this morning of the possibly embarrassing scenes up there behind the pearly gates. There will be good old Fr Casa who might groan to see Moja coming up. There will be Bro. Joe Mascarenhas, who had the knack of turning up just when some secret party was being organized by Moja and the provincial. There will be Fr Joe Vaz who also had the knack of turning up, but with different effects. There will be good old Santino Mondini, dreading that the awful ribbing might start again, but swearing to friendship. There will be, of course, Don Bosco himself, and Our Lady, and mother and father and a thousand others, all united in some mysterious way in the loving and forgiving heart of our Father.

BIS #1389 - SUMMER CAMP WITH A DIFFERENCE

Conrad Cabral BORIVLI, MAY 27, 2009: “Time, when utilized to the fullest for productive work, brings satisfaction to those who give of their best.” This was the message given by the animators and volunteers at the closing ceremony of ‘Marian Joy’ – a fun filled summer camp conducted by the Neighbourhood Youth Group of Gorai and the 2009 batch of confirmation students. The camp was animated by Marilyn Vibhute, Conrad Cabral, Bobby Furtado and Jophin Mathai under the guidance of Fr. Ronnie Menezes and Fr. Allwyn Misquitta. Marian Joy was not just like any other summer camp. The children here were helped to understand the true meaning of team spirit and to give of their very best for their teams. Also, it was not just fun and games, but included outreach programmes, competitions, picnics, Marian quiz and praise and worship. The core of the entire programme was growing in Marian devotion, by following in the footsteps of our patron Don Bosco. The closing ceremony was held on the feast of Mary Help of Christians. The children put up a colourful programme comprising songs, dances and skits. Addressing the children during the programme, Fr. Ronnie told them that whenever they needed something that was really necessary for their lives, to pray to Our Lady just as Don Bosco did, and she would definitely fulfill their prayers. The parents were extremely happy that their children had this opportunity of spending their summer holidays in such a meaningful and profitable manner. The kids too were beaming with ‘Marian Joy’, grateful for all that they had learnt during the camp.

BIS #1388 - FR. GIUSEPPE MOJA PASSES AWAY

Bernard Britto sdb MUMBAI, MAY 26, 2009: It was with deep sorrow that we received the sad news that Fr. Moja had passed away this evening, May 26, in Arese, Milan. The funeral service will be held on May 28, at 3.30 pm in the Parish Church of Orino, Milan. Giuseppe Moja, son of Tanquillo and Elisa Clivio, was born on December 20, 1915 in Orino, Varese, Italy. He entered the seminary in 1928 and four years later, in 1932, he chose to come to India as a missionary. He began his novitiate at Shillong on December 7, 1933 and a year later he made his first profession as a Salesian. Because of his competence and diligence, he was appointed secretary to the Bishop of Krishnagar in the year 1937, a job he did with great proficiency. Next, he was appointed teacher and assistant at Sonada in 1940. On January 6, 1941 he made his perpetual profession. Those were the days of the Second World War and hence he was soon placed in the internment camp at Deoli. In 1943 the camp was shifted to Dehradun. He completed his theological studies in the camp and was ordained a priest on December 8, 1944. At the invitation of the famous Salesian pioneer of Goa, Fr. Suderi, Fr. Moja landed in Panjim in 1946 and worked in that city for several years. His next assignment was at Sulcorna, where, from 1962 to 1977, he literally transformed the jungle into a paradise using all his farming skills. He was transferred to Lonavla in the year 1977 as confessor and then to Poona as administrator. In 1985 he was appointed as Assistant Parish Priest and Administrator, at Antop Hill, Mumbai. In 1988, the death centenary year of Don Bosco, he was appointed Editor of the popular magazine, Don Bosco’s Madonna, and so moved to the Provincial House, Matunga, where he worked for the next 20 years. In May 2007, due to ill health, he asked to return to Italy, and he spent the last two years of his life at the Salesian house at Arese. Fr. Moja was definitely an extraordinary person. An artist, poet, musician, preacher, linguist, writer, editor, physician, technician, farmer, builder, hunter… he defied, both, classification or definition. But as we look back, there is one thing we can say with absolute certainty, he was a great Salesian! And those of us, who walked a few miles of his life with him, will always remember him as a good friend and a wonderful person. Arrivederci don Moja!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

BIS #1387 - MARIAN FERVOUR ABOUNDS AT MATUNGA

Crescens Lemos sdb MUMBAI, MAY 26, 2009: To describe Mumbai as a ‘Marian City’ would certainly not be a misnomer. And among the different Marian pilgrim centres that this metropolis is famous for, the Shrine of Don Bosco’s Madonna at Matunga is easily one of the most popular. Over the past two days, thousands of people were seen streaming to this seat of devotion, to celebrate the feast of Mary Help of Christians. Although traditionally celebrated on May 24, this year the feast was shifted to May 25 – and both the days saw a large number of devotees coming to place their prayers and petitions into the hands of Our Lady. The solemn festive Mass was held at 6.30 pm on the Shrine grounds. The principal celebrant for the occasion was Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, and he was assisted at the altar by Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial and Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of the Shrine. About 25 other Salesian priests joined the concelebration. Addressing the faithful during the homily, Fr. Michael focused on the simple devotional practices that were promoted by Don Bosco. Fr. Michael urged the people to keep these practices alive in their own families. “Absence of family prayer and other popular devotions has led to a loss of unity and peace in our families”, said Fr. Michael. He reminded the faithful of the old adage: “a family that prays together, stays together.” The feast day celebrations concluded with the traditional procession.

BIS #1386 - THE LIGHT CONTINUES TO GLOW!

Joaquim Fernandes sdb MUMBAI, MAY 26, 2009: Tej-Prasarini, Don Bosco Communications, Matunga celebrated its Annual Thanksgiving Day with the conclusion of the Don Bosco Creativity Workshops on May 23, 2009. Commencing with the traditional lighting of the lamp, the evening was subsequently lit up by some spectacular performances and dazzling display of creative talent, thanks to the coordinated efforts of the teachers and the students. The programme for the evening included Guitar and Keyboard gigs, with wonderfully graceful abstract Bharatanatyam style dances with the theme ‘winter season’ performed by the students of Bharatanatyam along with their teacher Ms. Ruta Kambli intermingled with Jazz, Hip-Hop and Jive performances. Short speeches by the students of the personality development and public speaking class, a PowerPoint presentation spelling out the aims, objectives and achievements of Tej-Prasarini, as also a special screening of the One-Minute Documentaries by the students of the Film-Making Workshop which had been organized earlier by Tej-Prasarini in collaboration with Dubai International Film Festival, added to the delightful pleasantries of an otherwise humid evening. The Chief Guest for the occasion was Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, who also handed over the certificates to the various participants. Speaking on this occasion, Fr. Michael told to the parents and students that we should have a never say die attitude. Whenever we learn to play a musical instrument, or try to develop any other talent, it is not very easy in the beginning, but after much practice and hard work we excel in life. He congratulated the management and staff of Tej-Prasarini for enhancing the talents of the participants of the Don Bosco Creativity Workshop 2009 and for the various other programmes and the work done at Tej-Prasarini. Ms. Diana D’Souza proposed the Vote of Thanks voicing her sentiment of gratitude to all who had worked toward this programme and those who graced the evening’s celebration. Present on the occasion in large numbers were also the proud parents of the participants, other eminent guests, Salesians and other dignitaries. It was truly an evening when the Light glowed letting everyone know and understand that the Light does continue to spread….!

Monday, May 25, 2009

BIS #1385 - CALLED TO LOVE, CALLED TO HOLINESS

Vinod Mascarenhas sdb NASHIK, MAY 25, 2009: On the Solemnity of the Ascension, May 24, thirteen young men made their First Religious Profession in the Society of St Francis de Sales at 6.30 pm in the Don Bosco Parish Church, Nashik. Eight belong to the Mumbai Province and five to the Konkan Province. Fr Michael Fernandes, Provincial, presided at the solemn and well-animated Eucharist; with seventeen other priests concelebrating. In his homily, the Provincial spoke on the theme the newly professed had chosen: “Called to Love – Called to Holiness.” He reminded them that, for us, holiness lies in fidelity to the vows and our duty. This is not always easy, but the Lord assures us of his constant presence by our side and the assistance of the Holy Spirit. After the homily, the thirteen young men professed the vows; they were given the cassock and the book of the Constitutions and Regulations. Following the Eucharist, there was a short felicitation and thanksgiving programme at the Novitiate. The newly professed expressed their gratitude to the Provincial and the formation staff. On the same day, seventeen new novices joined the novitiate in Nashik. At simple but solemn ceremony held in the novitiate chapel, Fr Michael Fernandes officially entrusted the new novices to the Novice Master, Fr Solomon Rapol. In his brief homily before the entrustment, the Provincial exhorted the novices to be totally open to their Novice Master and place all their trust in him. Our hearty congratulations to the new Salesians and the new novices!

BIS #1384 - SUMMER ACTIVITIES AT SATPUR

Smita Salve NASHIK, MAY 25, 2009: The summer heat did not deter the Satpur parish youth from having a variety of sacred and secular activities. From April 12 to 18, a Catechetical Shibir was held for those receiving First Holy Communion. During this Shibir the children were helped to learn about thirty important prayers by-heart. A simple explanation of the prayers, along with some questions and answers, also formed part of this Shibir. At the end of the Shibir an exam was conducted. Eleven out of the eighteen got through and were permitted to receive the sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion on April 19, 2009. For those who did not make it, yet another Catechetical Shibir was held. After fulfilling the necessary requirements, seven more children received the Sacrament of Reconciliation and First Holy Communion. Thanks to the Catechism Teachers, Brothers and Sisters who helped during the Sunday Catechesis all through the year and in a special way those teachers who helped during the Shibir. Along with these religious activities the youth also had a short summer camp of about ten days. It consisted of meeting at the Church for about three hours in the morning and for about three hours in the evening. The camp programme included games, competitions, music, drama and entertainment. The Summer Camp concluded on May 16, 2009 with the Holy Eucharist followed by prize distribution for the winners of the various competitions. Thanks to Bro. Neville, Rajesh Bansode, Smita Salve and other youth group members who helped in the Camp.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

BIS #1383 - PERPETUAL PROFESSIONS AT MATUNGA

Mylin Noronha sdb MATUNGA, MAY 24, 2009: Cl. Mecanroe Lopes and Cl. Savio D’Souza today took a major step forward in their Salesian life by making their Perpetual Profession during the solemn Eucharistic celebration held in the Crypt of the Shrine of Mary Help of Christians, Matunga this morning. The principal celebrant at the Eucharist was Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, and he was joined by Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial, Fr. Elson Barretto, Economer, and several Salesians from across the province. Also present for this joyous occasion were the parents and relatives of Mecanroe and Savio. The significance and importance of the Perpetual Profession was well elucidated by the Provincial during the homily. He pointed out that making a ‘permanent commitment’ was both rare and praiseworthy in a world today that only believes in ‘temporary commitments’. Reflecting further on the three vows, he said that they can be well summarized in just one word – ‘detachment’. The Provincial also asked the congregation to pray for all the newly transferred confreres who officially take up office on May 24. He requested special prayers for the newly appointed Provincial Councillors and Rectors. The Eucharist was followed by the cutting of the cake and a festive lunch hosted by the Provincial House community.

BIS #1382 - SALESIAN PROCURE FOR SOUTH ASIA LAUNCHED

Louis Kumpiluvelil sdb NEW DELHI, MAY 24, 2009: Fr. Maria Arokiam Kanaga, the Regional Councilor for South Asia, announced today the launching of the Salesian Procure for South Asia, with Fr. George Menamparampil of the Dimapur Province as its Director. The offices of the Procure will be at the SPCSA Centre, New Delhi. The idea of starting a Procure for South Asia was the brainchild of Fr. Maria Arokiam, the Regional Councillor, and it is being launched with the blessings and encouragement of the Rector Major, Fr Pascual Chavez. It is “a significant step in our journey towards financial self-reliance”, said Fr. Kanaga, while launching this venture. It is expected to create economic synergy and foster greater solidarity among the provinces of the region. South Asia, comprising India, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Bangladesh, and having a population of over 1.2 billion, half of whom are below 30 years, is a region full of opportunities and challenges for the Salesians. The Salesian Family has over 1300 centres in South Asia.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

BIS #1381 - SUMMER CLUB CONCLUDES AT VIRAR

Mylin Noronha sdb MATUNGA, MAY 23, 2009: There was a festive feel in the air as some 250 children from the slum communities of Matunga, Dharavi, Labour Camp and Mahim, came happily trooping into the Don Bosco Matunga campus, accompanied by the Brothers and volunteers, yesterday morning. They were all here for the grand finale of the ‘Bosco Taare’ summer programme that was conducted by the Brothers from Divyadaan, Nashik, in these four slum areas during the past two weeks. This holiday programme had focused on developing the children’s talents in music, singing, drama, dance, art and craft – thereby helping them shine like stars (taare). The ‘closing day’ programme took off with a short inaugural ceremony at 11.00 am. After the Brothers had sung a welcome song, Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Development Office, welcomed all the children and the other guests. Addressing the children, Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of Provincial House, told them to “have fun and make new friends during the day”. Fr. Elson Barretto, Provincial Economer, narrated an interesting story to the children and concluded by telling them that they should make their lives bright and beautiful. Also present on the dais were Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial and Fr. Wilfred D’Souza from the Youth Services. The inaugural programme concluded with an excellent welcome dace by a tiny-tot from Dharavi. The children then had an hour long games session, which saw them running, cheering, laughing and absolutely enjoying themselves. This was followed by a grand lunch which helped replenish their energy and take their spirits to even greater heights. The final segment of the day was the cultural programme which began at 2.00 pm. Each centre had come well prepared with dances, skits and group songs. A special feature of the programme was that some of the skits and songs were in English – proof that the kids had managed to pick up this language in just a few days. The entire afternoon was peppered with yells, claps and action songs, which further added to the good cheer. Finally, after the prize distribution, one of the Brothers proposed the vote of thanks and the day concluded with a 'thank you' song by a group of children. The children then left for their homes, not only with gifts and prizes in their hands, but also with glad hearts, enthusiastic spirits, new dreams and a desire to shine like stars. Bosco Taare Jai Ho!

BIS #1380 - 'BOSCO TAARE' SUMMER PROGRAMME CLOSES

Mylin Noronha sdb MATUNGA, MAY 23, 2009: There was a festive feel in the air as some 250 children from the slum communities of Matunga, Dharavi, Labour Camp and Mahim, came happily trooping into the Don Bosco Matunga campus, accompanied by the Brothers and volunteers, yesterday morning. They were all here for the grand finale of the ‘Bosco Taare’ summer programme that was conducted by the Brothers from Divyadaan, Nashik, in these four slum areas during the past two weeks. This holiday programme had focused on developing the children’s talents in music, singing, drama, dance, art and craft – thereby helping them shine like stars (taare). The ‘closing day’ programme took off with a short inaugural ceremony at 11.00 am. After the Brothers had sung a welcome song, Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Development Office, welcomed all the children and the other guests. Addressing the children, Fr. Edwin D’Souza, Rector of Provincial House, told them to “have fun and make new friends during the day”. Fr. Elson Barretto, Provincial Economer, narrated an interesting story to the children and concluded by telling them that they should make their lives bright and beautiful. Also present on the dais were Fr. Ajoy Fernandes, Vice Provincial and Fr. Wilfred D’Souza from the Youth Services. The inaugural programme concluded with an excellent welcome dace by a tiny-tot from Dharavi. The children then had an hour long games session, which saw them running, cheering, laughing and absolutely enjoying themselves. This was followed by a grand lunch which helped replenish their energy and take their spirits to even greater heights. The final segment of the day was the cultural programme which began at 2.00 pm. Each centre had come well prepared with dances, skits and group songs. A special feature of the programme was that some of the skits and songs were in English – proof that the kids had managed to pick up this language in just a few days. The entire afternoon was peppered with yells, claps and action songs, which further added to the good cheer. Finally, after the prize distribution, one of the Brothers proposed the vote of thanks and the day concluded with a 'thank you' song by a group of children. The children then left for their homes, not only with gifts and prizes in their hands, but also with glad hearts, enthusiastic spirits, new dreams and a desire to shine like stars. Bosco Taare Jai Ho!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

BIS #1379 - COMMUNITY AWARENESS AT CHINCHWAD

Ashwin Macwan sdb CHINCHWAD, MAY 21, 2009: Don Bosco, Chinchwad organized an awareness programme on May 19, 2009, for the communities living in Vidyanagar, Ramnagar and Mohannagar of the Pimpri-Chinchwad Mahanagar Palika. The meeting, which was held in the Vidyanagar Community Hall, began at 6.30 pm and went on till 8.00 pm. The Chief Guest was the occasion was Mr. Prakash Babar, Municipal Councillor from Ward No 39. Also present were Fr. Corlis Gonsalves, Br. Ashwin Macwan and staff members Sunaina, Anthony, Rajan, Sumana and Adinath. The main objective of the meeting was to spread awareness in the local communities, and especially among the women, about the various training programmes conducted at Don Bosco Vyavasaik Prashikshan Kendra.
Ms. Pramila Kochare, who gave the introductory speech, welcomed all those present and then went on to describe the work done by Don Bosco at Chinchwad during these past few years. She commended the fact that a well equipped institute had been set up in a short span of time and that close to 400 youth had already received training there. She stressed that training youth for employment was one of the best services that any organization could render. She encouraged the youth of the locality to take advantage of this opportunity available to them right in their neighbourhood. Next, Ms. Sunaina described in detail the various courses offered by Don Bosco. She also mentioned that many of these courses already have industrial partnerships which makes access to employment easy. She further spoke about self-employment and entrepreneurship which are also possible options. In this context, she pointed out that the Self Help Group members could launch some small enterprise of their own, for which the necessary training would be provided by Don Bosco. The meeting ended on an optimistic note with those present enthusiastically stating that they would like to explore new avenues with regard to employment and livelihoods.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

BIS #1378 - VIRAR PARISH "BONDED IN LOVE"

Loreen Fernandes VIRAR, MAY 20, 2009: The caption, “Bonded in Love”, which was prominently displayed on the backdrop, aptly described the spirit of camaraderie and enthusiasm that reigned high during the celebration of the Resurrection parish feast at Virar on Sunday, May 17, 2009. The entire church was tastefully decorated and the animation at the Eucharist was well prepared for the occasion. The principal celebrant was Fr. Vivian D’Souza. The concelebrants included Fr. Blany Pinto, Fr. Edwin Colaco, Fr. Gregory D’Cunha, Fr. Bento D’Souza and Fr. Peter. The symbolic offerings presented during the Eucharistic celebration represented the various Associations in the parish – from the Altar Servers Association to the Senior Citizens Cell. The Mass was followed by a cultural programme which included action songs, entertaining skits and beautifully choreographed dances. The celebrations then continued through the day with a variety of ‘fete games’ and stalls selling some delicious home cooked delicacies. The highlight of the evening was the 'American Auction', which was skillfully conducted by our parish priest Fr. Blany Pinto. Thanks to the hard work put in by the feast day planning committee which was guided by Fr. Edwin Colaco, the coordinators of the various associations, the catechism children and the youth, the parishioners had a truly enjoyable and memorable day.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

BIS #1377 - REMEMBERING FR. MAURICE

Ralin De Souza sdb GOA, MAY 17, 2009: Fr. Maurice was born on December 5, 1953 to Victor and Helen Figueiredo in Nairobi, Kenya. After his confirmation in St. Theresa’s Church, Nairobi, he came to India and joined the St. Paul’s Apostolic School, Borivli, Bombay; his first Salesian contact. He joined the Savio Juniorate in Guwahati in 1973, perhaps wanting to pursue his missionary vocation. But being a British passport holder he had constant trouble with the authorities and so he decided to join the Bombay Province. Having finished his earlier formation in Yercaud and his practical training in Lonavla and Matunga, he went on to complete his theological studies in Bangalore. In December 1985, he was ordained priest in his native village, Carmona, Goa.
As a Salesian priest he did a year’s ministry in Kudal and then went to Sonada to complete his graduation (BA). His interest in Catechetics and his dynamic and effective way of conducting sessions, made him proficient as a catechist. He was Assistant Director at the Catechetical Centre in Pune (1987-88) and later went on to guide the Centre for a term of 6 years (1988-93). He helped develop the upcoming Catechetical Centre in Benaulim (1993-97), and was then sent back to Catechetical Centre in Pune (1997-2001). After a short stint at Sirsi as Parish Priest, Fr. Maurice was re-appointed as Director of the Catechetical Centre in Benaulim, (2003-2009), making this Centre popular and well sort after, especially in the south of Goa.
As a Salesian Fr. Maurice has held various posts: Diocesan Director of Catechetics in the Diocese of Pune, Director of Salesian Catechetical Centre, Pune, Director of Don Bosco Youth Centre, Benaulim, Goa, and Member of the Diocesan Priest Council, of the Arch-diocese of Goa. After a tragic accident in the early hours of May 11, that knocked Fr. Maurice unconscious with severe head injuries, he finally succumbed to his pain on May 14, at 6.15 am. ‘Another Cheerful Angel in Heaven’ is an apt description to the person and gift that Fr. Maurice was the Salesian Family.

BIS #1376 - SUGGESTIONS INVITED


ANS News ROME, MAY 17, 2009: The Department for Social Communication is making a fresh appeal to the creativity of the Salesian world for the renovation of the sdb.org site. Planned for the first half of December, the new site will be another contribution to the celebration of the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Salesian Congregation, and above all a response and adaptation to the new demands of the world of web 2.0. Those who use the sdb.org are being requested to make a contribution through their own creativity to the design of the new site. “"In this first stage we are happy to receive as many ideas as possible", Fr Julian Fox, Site Coordinator said, "and once we have them and have checked them out, we will try to integrate them and make use of them." The new site, which in fact will be much more than a simple “make-over”, will maintain the structure and the large quantity of data collected. At present it has over 25,000 pages. With the name “Project Conversion”, this is a first step in the direction of the interactive situation which it is hoped to develop with those using the site. Suggestions should be sent in before May 31, 2009.

Friday, May 15, 2009

BIS #1375 - SHG BREAKS NEW GROUND IN AHMEDNAGAR

Alex Gonsalves sdb AHMEDNAGAR, MAY 15, 2009: Empowering people through the Self Help Group movement has been one of the major programmes undertaken by Bosco Gramin Vikas Kendra in rural Maharashtra since the past two decades. Over the years, the SHGs have invested their savings in a variety of income generation projects which have all borne rich dividends. Moving beyond the stereotype projects, one SHG decided to invest in an altogether new item – the purchase of a JCB multitasking machine. On Thursday, May 14, 2009 there was a short function to bless and launch this newly acquired machine. The members of the Group were all smiles as they proudly stood around their prized possession. Present on this auspicious occasion were Fr Anton D’Souza, Fr Ivan Rodriquez, Fr Suresh Sathe the Social Work Coordinator of Nashik Diocese, several village leaders and other civil dignitaries. While the Group invested Rs. 5 lacs from its savings, Rs. 16 lacs were taken as a loan from the Corporation Bank to pay for this machine. This has been the highest investment that any of our groups has received from the Banks till date. The SHG members are confident that there will be quick earnings on this investment and that they will be able to successfully pay off the loan. This entire venture has been a great stimulus to the other SHGs, who are now considering creative and relevant ways of investing their savings. In the midst of the recession, our villagers are charting a bold new economic path for themselves!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

BIS #1374 - A MUSICAL EVENING AT JYOTI

Renold Lemos sdb JYOTI, MAY 14, 2009: The parish council of Our Lady of Light parish is an active body, concerned about the upkeep and maintenance of the Church. The Church completed two years since its inauguration. It was noticed that there are leakages in the asbestos sheets, making the structure vulnerable to damages. Therefore the parish council came up with the idea of doing something on a war footing before the onset of the monsoons. They decided to organize a ‘Musical Show’ to raise funds for the roof repairs. The youth ensured that there was a sizeable crowd for the event through their persuasive sale of tickets. The entire event was managed by Mr. Anthony Barboz, along with Mr. Vincent Pereira, Mr. Barry, Mr. Richard, Mr. Benhur and a few other collaborators. The programme was well appreciated by all as it had a variety of songs, jokes and mimicry. Congrats to the parish council members and the youth for focusing their attention on this important cause.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

BIS #1373 - ENGLISH COURSE CONCLUDES AT JYOTI

Renold Lemos sdb JYOTI, MAY 13, 2009: The thirty-three youngsters who had enrolled for the ‘English Castle 2009’ successfully completed the month long course specially designed for them. The anchor of the course was Fr. Bento D’Souza and he was assisted by Deacon Royal D’Abreo and Cl. Renold Lemos. Besides regular classes, the students also enjoyed the action songs, play way method of learning, games, creativity workshops, personality building and the delicious food prepared by the parishioners. Moments of prayer helped the students to pause and thank God for all the benefits that they were receiving. The course concluded on May 9, with the valedictory function. The chief guest for the occasion was Sr. Deepti. There was a short cultural programme after which Sr. Deepti gave away the certificates to the participants. Fr. Gregory D’Cunha thanked Fr. Bento for having coordinated the course and wished all the students well for the future.

BIS #1372 - VOCATION CAMPS AT LONAVLA

Bosco Carvalho sdb LONAVLA, MAY 13, 2009: It was an exciting experience for all the youngsters who attended the two Vocation Camps from May 2 to 5, and May 7 to 10, 2009 at Don Bosco, Lonavla. The score of the first camp, which was meant for the post X and XII, was a handsome 93, while the second camp meant for boys going to Std. VIII and IX scored a sweet 18. The youngsters participated wholeheartedly in the different activities of the camp. The morning jerks, competitions, well-planned classes, hikes, games and the campfire were some of the highlights of the programme. All throughout the camp days there reigned a spirit of initiative, healthy competition and cooperation. The youngsters were made aware of the necessity to listen to God’s call through the daily Holy Eucharist, the Adorations and the talks by the priests. The team responsible for the success of the Vocation Camps comprised Fr. Thomas D’Costa, Rector of Don Bosco Lonavla, the Vocation Promoters Fr. Brian Moras, Fr. Gregory D’Cunha and Fr. Richard D’Silva, and the young clerics Rickson, Evangelo and Bosco. They were helped by a group of highly qualified volunteers who are also aspiring to become Salesians. At the close of the camps, 50 youngsters were selected from the post X group and 10 youngsters from the junior group. We wish them God’s abundant blessings as they begin vocation journey.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

BIS #1371 - SHARVANGI VIKAS SHIBIR AT NARUKOT

Joshua Alphonso sdb NARUKOT, MAY 12, 2009: Sarvangi Vikas Shibir was held at Don Bosco Narukot from April 21 to 28, 2009. It was a camp that aimed at bringing out the hidden talents of the boys and girls in our school. There were seventy five children who participated in this camp. The camp was organized under the able leadership of Fr. Mayank Parmar with the help of Br. Royston Colaco and Cl. Joshua Alphonso. Ms. Neelam, a professional coach, conducted the hockey coaching. Our past pupils, Sanjay Jeevan, Sanjay Bathu and Vinu Jana assisted in the hockey and football coaching and also conducted classes in spoken English. Ms. Nirmala and Mr. Rajesh from Ahmedabad helped bring out the artistic and creative talents in the students through sessions in stone painting, mask making, card making and needle work. Finally, music classes in tabla, harmonium and dholak were taken by Fr. Mayank and Mr. Darmesh. Speaking during the closing ceremony, Fr. Byron D’Silva, Rector, complimented the organizers for this excellent initiative that helped develop the talents of the students. He was also very appreciative of the past pupils who came forward to help in this camp and he urged the children to imitate their example. The camp, with its unique blend of music, art, craft, study and games, was thoroughly enjoyed by every participant.

BIS #1370 - TELEGAMES 2009 AT BORIVLI

Arlene Mathiah BORIVLI, MAY 12, 2009: The Don Bosco Youth Movement (DBYM) organized the Annual Tele Games for the parishioners of St. John Bosco Parish, Borivli on May 3, 2009 on the parish grounds. The games began at 6.00 pm with the inauguration by the Parish Priest, Fr. Ronald Menezes. There were 12 teams, which were divided on the basis of the zonal communities. The teams comprised not only children and youth, but also many adults who were all geared up for the event. The organizers took care to ensure that persons of all age groups could participate in the games. There was also a selection of water games that helped beat the heat. The entire atmosphere was charged with enthusiasm and energy. The teams cheered and encouraged their members as everyone gave of their best to score points and win prizes. Thanks to our parish youth for the excellent organization. This event was definitely one of the highpoints of this years summer holidays.

Monday, May 11, 2009

BIS #1369 - SUMMER CAMP AT VIRAR

Lovina Menezes VIRAR, MAY 11, 2009: It’s summer time – a time for enjoyment and fun! It is also a season for children to learn something new and to showcase their talents. With this in mind we planned an exciting Summer Club at Virar which gives our children the opportunity to grow and glow! The summer club was inaugurated by our Parish Priest, Fr. Blany Pinto. After the club was declared open, the Club Anthem was sung by the children. About 45 children have enrolled for the club. The programme includes creative skills, computer classes, dance, music, art, drawing, soft-toy making and fashion designing. The daily schedule begins with a prayer and the club anthem. The youth then conduct sessions on different values after which the children go to their respective classes for the creative skills. The day also packs in plenty of games, competitions and tournament. Fr. Edwin Colaco and the parish youth ensure that there never is a dull moment at the club!

BIS #1368 - FOUNDATION STONE LAID FOR DON BOSCO AUTO TRAINING CENTRE

Ranson D’Souza sdb NASHIK, MAY 11, 2009: On May 1, 2009, the Salesian Province of Mumbai reached a new milestone with the commencement of the construction work for the ‘Don Bosco Auto Training Centre’ and the ‘Bosco Corner’ on the premises of Divyadaan. This project aims at training poor youngsters and helping them to come up in life by placing them in jobs which would require their acquired skill. This new venture is being supported by Mahindra & Mahindra, a leading auto company. While the infrastructure will be put up by the Salesians, equipment, auto know-how and training expertise will be brought in by Mahindra. The students will thus receive market oriented, state of the art training, at this institute. Further, the Mahindra Company will also assist in the placement of the trained youth, either in their auto production plants or in their service outlets. The ceremony began with the blessing of the foundation stone by Fr. Michael Fernandes, Provincial, who prayed especially for the safety and well being of all those who would be involved in the construction work. The occasion was graced by the presence of Fr. Anaclete D’Mello, Fr. Edwin D’Souza and senior representatives from Mahindra. Also present were the Salesians from Don Bosco Bhavan, Divyadaan and STI. We now eagerly look forward to the completion of the construction work and the commencement of the training courses which will be a great boon to the youngsters of Nashik.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

BIS #1393 - ALUMNI MEET AT CHHOTA

BIS mumbai

 

BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE # 1393


 
 

ALUMNI MEET AT CHHOTA

 

Ranald Lopes sdb

 

CHHOTA UDEPUR, JUNE 5, 2009: The second edition of the Annual Past Pupils Meet was held at Don Bosco, Chhota Udepur on May 30 and 31. The theme for the Meet was:  "Our little stars, now megastars, are reaching for the skies". Over 200 youngsters who have passed out of our institutions at Chhota, Kawant, Narukot and Alirajpur were present for this event.

 

The programme began on May 30 evening with the alumni arriving from the different places in Gujarat where they have now settled down. The entire campus wore a happy and festive look as friends met up with each other after a long time. Before dinner there was a cultural programme, comprising songs and dances. The Snehalaya troupe from Baroda, which had been specially invited for the occasion, set the stage on fire with a series of fantastic dances.      

 

The first part of the next morning was set aside for 'fete games', which added to the fun and excitement of the occasion. Then, at 10.00 am it was time to get down to some serious sessions. Fr. James Tuscano, the new Rector of Chhota, warmly welcomed all the alumni and expressed his great satisfaction that most of them were now well settled in life. Next, there was a long session by Professor Hasmukh Waghela, who focused on the strengths and talents that each one has, and how these need to be used not just for self development, but also for the betterment of society. After this, Fr. Stanny Ferreira made a presentation on the National Rural Employment Guarantee Act, and urged the alumni to work towards the proper implementation of this Act in their own villages. The Meet ended with a festive lunch shared by all. 

 


BOSCO INFORMATION SERVICE (BIS) MUMBAI 
Don Bosco Provincial House,

Matunga, Mumbai - 400 019

Email: bis@donboscomumbai.org

Website: www.donboscomumbai.org